As the world was forced to shelter in place and in the early days of the pandemic, herself forced into unemployment, Jennifer Ridgway recognized how her artistry could serve the community. She began presenting drama sessions in the yards of her neighbors to help young children overcome loneliness and enter into imaginary play. Yard Dramas brings Prince George's County Teaching Artists together in a collective to reach more Prince George's County individuals, families and communities with high-quality performing arts programming that responds to community needs.
We are committed to arts education and creative life-long learning for all. As proud Prince George's County residents, our goal is to help our community rebuild and reimagine in the post-pandemic and beyond.
Join the journey! Come outside. Play with us.
Learn more about our programs
OUR COMMUNITY COVID SAFETY RESPONSE PROMISE
Yard Dramas are accessible to everyone regardless of their financial resources and circumstances. Our fees recognize differences in wealth, income and
privilege within our community and simultaneously keep us, teaching artists in the
community, employed. This is a delicate balance and it requires all of us re-setting and re-defining our values.
Historically, teaching artists have been undervalued. We believe we bring value to the community. Check out the Teaching Artist Guild's Pay Calculator. We understand that you may not be able to meet the suggested fees. Your awareness alone will move the field of teaching artistry forward, and help our society recognize pay equity as a social justice issue.
Our 4-Staged Program Plan takes us from the individual creative exploration to a collaborative and professional community performance that tells our collective story of resilience and innovation.
STAGE ONE: EXPLORE & PLAY
Our team works with individual households and families in private and public yards. These sessions for all ages are experiential and invite playmaking. Our team is flexible and adaptable as we tailor our programs to meet the needs of our participants.
STAGE TWO: DEFINE & IMAGINE
When local and state safety guidelines permit, we will identify community sites situated across Prince George’s County. These sites will take place in schools, libraries, community centers and within businesses and municipalities. Each site will unpack pandemic and resiliency stories that are known in their communities, as well as cultural, historical and environmental stories that are relevant to reimagining a new world. Participants will explore performance techniques to tell the stories as an ensemble that invites the audience to share more stories!
STAGE THREE: WRITE & REHEARSE
Committed participants will be invited to participate in a long-term community project where we weave the community stories into a script that they will write in collaboration with their community.
STAGE FOUR: PERFORM & REFLECT
And when it is safe, our community ensemble will perform their fully realized production in the yards where this journey began!